Governor Hochul Is On A Spree But This One Is Putting New Yorkers In Danger And She's Done It MORE THAN 70 Times

By Lisa Pelgin | Monday, 27 May 2024 12:00 PM
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Image Credit : Photo by John Doe for The New Republic

As the United States grapples with the pressing issues of inflation and immigration, the escalating crime rates have also emerged as a significant concern for voters.

Former President Donald Trump recently addressed this issue at a rally in the Bronx, promising to restore safety in New York City. Similarly, Republican governors nationwide have been highlighting any measurable reductions in crime rates.

However, New York Governor Kathy Hochul seems to be on a different trajectory. While her counterparts focus on law enforcement, Hochul has been granting clemency to convicts, including those convicted of serious crimes such as drug dealing and murder.

This move raises questions about the message she is sending, especially considering that Trump is trailing President Joe Biden by a mere nine points in New York (Gothamist).

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On Friday, Governor Hochul granted clemency to 13 individuals, including several convicted of drug crimes decades ago and two serving life sentences for murder. This move aligns with her 2021 promise to utilize her executive clemency powers on a rolling basis, rather than restricting pardons and commutations to the winter holiday season. Since assuming office, Hochul has granted clemency to 72 individuals, according to her office.

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Despite having over 1,600 clemency applications pending, with 1,184 for sentence commutations and 472 for pardons, Hochul has been urged by criminal justice advocates to commute the sentences of more individuals still in prison. She has also streamlined the state's clemency application website to expedite the process. However, this move has been met with criticism from New York City residents, who are already grappling with increasing instances of random assaults, muggings, rapes, and subway incidents.

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Interestingly, some of the individuals who received clemency on Friday had already completed their sentences and been released from prison. Hochul justified this by stating that these individuals faced "threats to their immigration status" due to their criminal records while being in the country on a visa. This raises questions about the effectiveness of existing laws, which aim to ensure that immigrants contribute productively to society and face deportation if they engage in criminal activities.

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In addition to the 13 individuals, Hochul also expedited parole board meetings for two prisoners. One is a convicted murderer serving a 75-year to life sentence for killing a cab driver and attempting to kill another person, who was not due to appear before the parole board for another 30 years. The other is a 41-year-old serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder. Hochul justified this by stating that the two men “have demonstrated remorse and a commitment to rehabilitation.” However, skeptics question the sincerity of this remorse and the likelihood of successful rehabilitation, arguing that any potential reoffending would be a direct consequence of Hochul's actions.

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The recent trend towards "criminal justice reform" and the reimagining or defunding of the police has been met with mixed results across the country. Despite the apparent failures of this approach in several cities, New York Democrats, including Hochul, seem reluctant to abandon this strategy. This stubborn adherence to a seemingly flawed approach raises questions about the future of crime and safety in New York and the potential political implications for Governor Hochul.

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